22 April 2009

Green: Baby Skin Care

Happy Earth Day!

I'm still geeking out over skin care products over here and trying to figure out what brands are safest for use on the wee one's skin.

Here are some of the skin care products that have managed to accumulate in our bathroom. Let's see if they follow the "rules"--no petroleum products, no parabens, no fragrance, and use less.

Product #1: Johnson's head-to-toe baby wash ("#1 Choice of Hospitals") appears to be full of petroleum-based chemicals. The only understandable word in the ingredients list is: water. Contains sodium laureth sulfate (a Nasty) and "fragrance". FAIL

Product #2: Johnson's baby shampoo is so similar to the body wash that it's interesting that it is marketed as a second product. Same problems. FAIL

Product #3: Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash is "pediatrician recommended" and has oatmeal in it. Surely, it's good for the skin. Let's check it out. It's fragrance free so that's good but it has "PEG"s in it which I remember are Nasties and also mineral oil which is a petroleum product. FAIL

Product #4: California Baby Shampoo and Bodywash. Oh I hope this one is ok because it smells heavenly. No fragrance, no parabens, only one ingredient that isn't in "English". The Cosmetic Database ranks it as a "2" which is low hazard. Yay! PASS

Product #5: Weleda Baby Calendula Lotion. I bought this at Mother Nature's, our local hippy, breast-feeding, cloth-diapering mama store, so it better be ok. Uh-oh, it has "fragrance" but then explains it's from natural essential oils. All the other ingredients seem ok. The "fragrance" earned it a "4" on the Cosmetic Database but since we know where it comes from I feel ok with this. PASS (too bad I don't actually LIKE how it smells--too strong for me)

Product #6: California Baby Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion. No fragrance and I really love how California baby writes their labels--everything has it's "big" name and then an interpretation in "English" for those of us who weren't science majors. It looks ok plus it gets bonus points for using many ingredients that are certified organic, sustainable or renewal. PASS

After reading the labels, there's the whole "Use Less" rule. Frankly, babies don't really need much in the way of skin care and shampoo. So far most of the Sprout's messes are easily cleaned up with warm water. I think I've used about 6 drops of the California baby shampoo so far and that's mostly because I like how it smells. I've used about the same amount of the lotion to "spot treat" some dry spots. I'm sure her need for product will increase as she gets older, bigger and dirtier, but for now it is easy to use less.

The moral of the story appears to be "read your labels, read your labels, read your labels". I'm glad the California Baby products did well because they are readily available (Target) and they smell great (as in: floral but not very strong at all).

I'd love to get some comments on this topic. Do you read your skin care product labels? What do you look for? What products do you recommend? What should I do with the products that fail my "rules"? Keep and use them? Give them away (That seems hypocritical: "Here, it's not good enough for MY baby but use it for yours.)? Destroy them in some way?

So click on that "comment" button and let me know what you think! And have a happy rest of your Earth day!


Michele @ Frugal Granola said...

For the products that "failed" in our house, I posted them on freecycle. That way, no one was "pressured" to take them (such as giving as a gift), but I had a list of willing volunteers wanting to take them off my hands. :) (Craigslist would work too.)

Here's the stuff we do like: http://frugalgranola.blogspot.com/2009/04/favorite-natural-baby-care-solutions.html

Michele :)

Cottonista said...

I put some failed baby wash on a yard sale, and it went! I got rid of it because I thought it made the kids smell like wet dogs (no offense to your two pooches.)

We use Shaklee baby wash. I haven't read the ingredients.....but I will attest to the "small amount" idea. One bottle lasts the whole first year!

Joy said...

Unfortunately I wasn't a label reader when mine were babies. I am more so now.
The pictures of her are precious.
Love the birth announcement you did for her.